Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Valtteri Filppula Jersey Card

An anomaly in the Detroit Red Wings' system at the time because he hails from Finland and not Sweden, Valtteri Filppula first rose to prominence in 2007-08 as he posted 19 goals and 36 points in his sophomore season and 11 points in 22 playoff games to help the Wings win the Stanley Cup and just kept improving from there.

The next year he posted 40 points through 80 games in the regular season and another 16 more in 23 playoff games as the Wings lost in the Cup Final. In 2009-10 he posted 35 points in just 55 games, and the next season he slipped a bit to 39 points in 71 games (though with 16 goals to show for it), but exploded in the post-season with 8 points in 11 games.

2011-12 was the year he made his mark as the team's second-line center with 23 goals and 66 points, but he opted to leave Detroit after the lock-out and signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning last summer. He responded with a career-best 25 goals and 58 points, but Tampa was swept in the opening round by the Montréal Canadiens mostly because Ben Bishop was injured and couldn't help his team. It was probably disappointing for him, though I would have liked to see him play with Steven Stamkos when the deciding game was tied at two.

It's as good a time as any to feature this 2006-07 Be A Player Portraits card (#FE-VF in the First Exposures sub-set) by Upper Deck:
It shows him wearing the Wings' classic white uniform, with a decent-sized red swatch from a rookie photo shoot jersey.

He has won three bronze medals with Team Finland: two at the World Juniors (including the 2004 one where he made the All-Star team), and at the 2010 Olympics.

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